One day last summer, feeling trapped by the lockdown and wondering when the pandemic would be over, I turned to God and prayed. When I pray, I like to pause to feel the presence and reality of God, good. Often a Bible verse helps me, such as from Psalms: “God is . . . a very present help in trouble” (46:1) or “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (91:11).
On that day, something different came to me. It was the line “Dear Christ, forever here and near” from “Christmas Morn,” a poem written by Mary Baker Eddy (Poems, p. 29), also known as a hymn. This one line made me smile inside and out and cleared the way for me to pray with greater conviction. The words came to me in the form of the hymn, singing in my heart, and brought a joy that’s not reserved for Christmas alone. I knew that all that is true about God and man is possible to know, because the Christ—the understanding of God that Jesus had—is real and present, “forever here and near,” and it is active.
Other lines describing Christ from that poem came to me as well: